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Post by Mr PaSang   #111139    |    Jun 27, 2014, 4:46pm   |    Attractions
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Hotels have always been a blessing (and sometimes a curse!) for the weary traveller who is looking to crash for the night. Many people look to the hotel’s star rating as a benchmark of the type of service that they would expect to receive if they choose (or dare) to stay overnight in the facility. For example, if one were to decide to put up in a posh 5-star hotel as opposed to a comfy 3-star one, then he / she would obviously expect the service to be of par, though at a significantly more expensive price.

But what exactly does the extra star entitle you to?

Is the jump up in price between a star ratings really worth the “extra” service?

This article “checks in” on how the hotel star rating system in Malaysia works in an attempt to investigate whether Malaysians are truly getting their money’s worth when it comes to hotel stays.

The Malaysian hotel star rating system

Hotels in Malaysia are rated according to the star rating system designed by the Ministry of Tourism & Culture. The system assigns points from 1-10 to six different criteria in order to determine the star rating of the hotel.

In order for a hotel to achieve the coveted 5-star rating in Malaysia, the establishment must score a minimum of 9/10 on each of the six criteria. Whereas for a 4-star, 3-star, 2-star and 1-star rating, the establishment would need to score a minimum of 7/10, 5/10, 3/10 and 1/10 respectively for the criteria.

What about the “7-star” system used in other countries overseas? Why is it not used in Malaysia?

Malaysia has certain cultural and religious practices that may not be commonly seen in other countries. As such, the star rating system for Malaysian hotels has to respect any and all of these practices.

For example, the Kiblat sign is mandatory in all hotel rooms in Malaysia due to the nation’s status as an Islamic country. However, in France, the Kiblat sign is regarded as optional or up to the discretion of the hotel owner.

What are the 6 criteria tested?

Criteria #1: Appearance and Cleanliness of Hotel Common Areas

“Is the hotel reception inviting? Or does it bring back memories of the foyer from the Addams family”

Criteria #2: Presence and Quality of Hotel Facilities

“Does the hotel come with a swimming pool? Or do you have to improvise with a bucket?”

Criteria #3: Quality and Ambiance of Bedroom

“Is the bed comfortable? Or am I better off sleeping on a park bench?”

Criteria #4: Quality and Variety of Services Provided by Hotel

“Does the hotel provide laundry services? Or do I have to create a laundry Bouillabaisse (a kind of French fish stew, which you should never attempt to mix with your laundry – Ed) in my sink?”

Criteria #5: Safety and Hygiene of Hotel

Insert cockroach joke.

Criteria #6: Professionalism of Hotel Staff

Is good customer service readily available or upon request by incessant screaming and threats to call the department of Consumer Affairs?

The 1-Star hotel in Malaysia

Average Cost per Night in Klang Valley = From RM50

What does RM50 get you?

A 1-star hotel is definitely not designed to provide you with maximum luxury and comfort. You should expect nothing more than a bed with clean sheets, a night table and a common bathroom to be shared between at least 2 rooms (or up to the legal limit of 6 rooms). Facilities? Don’t even think about it. If you’ve ever lived in a college dormitory, then a 1-star hotel will definitely bring you back to those days.

The 2-Star hotel in Malaysia

Average Cost per Night in Klang Valley = From RM85

What does RM85 get you?

Unfortunately, the increase in price will not get you past the “college dormitory” style layout of the 1-star hotel. Sorry claustrophobic hotel guests but the 2-star hotel will not offer you much relief. However, if you don’t mind the extra squeeze, then a 2-star hotel is at minimum obligated to offer you laundry services, security deposit, Wi-Fi and air-conditioning. Though the hotel in this tier isn’t obligated to provide you with an attached bathroom – you will most likely get one. Just make sure you ask when booking.

How much will you pay for Wi-Fi at your hotel? Because that’s the difference between a 1-star and 2-star hotel.

The 3-Star hotel in Malaysia
Average Cost per Night in Klang Valley = From RM150

What does RM150 get you?

At an average of RM150 per night in the Klang Valley, the typical 3-star hotel isn’t exactly extremely affordable (unless you’re splitting a room with a friend). So is it better to save the extra RM65 and go with the 2-star hotel or pay up and go with 3-stars? The extra RM65 doesn’t just entitle you to a slightly larger room (Pilates anyone?), the jump in price also gives you more facilities and an overall better looking room.

Would you like to have a cup of coffee or tea while watching the slightly grainy TV with limited channels? It’s all provided for in your room! You can even hop on over to the restaurant/cafe/bar that’s located within the premises of your hotel whenever you feel like socialising! Think of a 3-star hotel room as a neat mash-up of contrasting colours and textures akin to an Ikea showroom. Worth the money? You decide.

The 4-Star hotel in Malaysia

Average Cost per Night in Klang Valley = From RM200

What does RM200 get you?

The average 4-star hotel in the Klang valley is approximately RM50 more expensive per night than the typical 3-star hotel. RM50 can buy you a lot of things in Malaysia, for example, you can buy 25 small packets of raisins at Tesco.

In the case of a 4-star hotel, the extra RM50 doesn’t just get you all the fittings and fixtures like that of a 3-star’s, you also get a bigger room, more facilities, and better service. Whoa…what’s the difference in service between a 3-star hotel and a 4-star hotel?

A 3-star hotel’s service can best be described as “on demand”, whereas a 4-star hotel’s service can be described as “expected”. When you stay at a 4-star hotel, you can expect good service without asking (or at least, that’s the goal).

But is it worth the extra RM50?

The 5-Star hotel in Malaysia

Executive-RoomAverage Cost per Night in Klang Valley = From RM400

What does RM400 get you?

A 5-star hotel is the cream of the crop when it comes to hotels. You can expect the utmost in terms of comfort and service, though at a steep price. A 5-star hotel doesn’t just have to meet the basic criteria lined out in the Malaysian hotel rating system, it has to exceed them by leaps and bounds.

Staying at a 5-star hotel is akin to becoming royalty for a day. You can expect nothing but the absolute best in terms of service. People falling over themselves to open doors for you, valet parking, 24-hour room service, limousine service, beauty salons and spas. Want a more comfortable stay than that? Then you might as well arrange a sleep-over with the Sultan because this is as good as it gets. Though prices start at RM400, 5 star hotels can sometimes run over a thousand a night, so be sure to have your credit card ready.

Here a Star, There a Star, Everywhere a Star Star…

Here’s a quick run-through of what services you can expect for the price that you fork out (whether willingly or otherwise):

1-star: Service? What service?
2-star: This could be worse…
3-star: Good service…but I had to ask for it.
4-star: Good service…and I didn’t even have to ask…I feel like royalty.
5-star: The service was so good that I can’t stop blushing!

Source from : Free Malaysia Today
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